Monday, October 4, 2010

A Look Ahead to 2011

Well, the 2010 season is over. No heart attack, but my finger nails are bleeding! I had this team winning between 80-85 games. I rationalized that they would have a solid bullpen, team speed, and good defense. These elements are often overlooked when compared to offense and the starting rotation. I would say this team slightly over achieved.

It's time to take a peek at what the Padres should do to take a step forward in 2011.

The current 25 man roster:

Mike Adams: Unless a great trade option comes up, he will be back.
Heath Bell: Will cost some money to bring back. Trades will be discussed. I think he comes back.
Kevin Correia: Bringing Kevin back would just take a roster spot from several better and cheaper options. He will be gone.
Ernesto Frieri: Young, effective, cheap. Should be considered for one of the final bullpen spots.
John Garland: Team will likely exercise option. Will Garland excercise the mutual option? The Padres should bring him back.
Luke Gregerson: Young, cheap, and usually effective. Padres could feel out a trade and plug Frieri or Webb into the 7th inning. He will likely be back.
Mat Latos: He will be back.
Wade Leblanc: Will likely battle Luebke for one of the final pitching spots.
Edward Mujica: Still under club control. Other than some home runs, he has been very effective and can go 3 innings if needed. I see value in bringing him back.
Clayton Richard: Solid season and under club control. He will be back.
Tim Stauffer: I was asking most of the season why Correia was starting over Tim. If the Padres are smart they put him in the rotation.
Joe Thatcher: One of the best young lefty relievers in the game. He is under club control. He will return.
Nick Hundley: He will be back.
Yorvit Torrealba: Just like with Garland, will Yorvit exercise his mutual option? I see no reason why the Padres wouldn't keep him around for $3.5 mil.
Evereth Cabrera: Put him in AAA. Let him work on his OB skills for a season.
David Eckstein: This is a question mark. I think the Padres will look to add a free agent to upgrade this spot, or may give Antonelli a chance if he is healthy
Adrian Gonzalez: Trades will be discussed. The Padres should give him a take it or leave it offer and trade him he doesn't take it. He will likely be back.
Jerry Hairston Jr: Valuable and cheap bench piece. The Padres would be wise to bring him back.
Chase Headley: Young and Cheap. I would like to see the Padres go after some power for 3B. I expect the tight budgeted Padres will bring Chase back for another .265 with 13 HR and 70 RBI, woo hoo.
Miguel Tejada: Turned out to be a great pick up. I hope than can bring him back.
Chris Denorfia: Should be back.
Tony Gwynn: Defense too valuable to let walk before his arbitration years are up.
Scott Hairston: So long Scotty.
Ryan Ludwick: Big question mark. Will likely cost $7 million. Could be worth the gamble since the FA market is very weak this year.
Oscar Salazar: Candidate to let walk.
Matt Stairs: Blocking guys like Cunningham. Padres should let him sign elsewhere.
Will Venable: Put it together the last 2 months. Good defense, good base running, average offense. Should be back to see if he can put it all together for a full season and reduce the K's.
Kyle Blanks: Could start the Season in AAA, will likely be back on the 25 man at some point.

I realize this is 28 players. The DL carousel always happens.

40 Man players that should be looked at in spring training:

Cory Luebke: Should be given a shot to win a back of the rotation starting spot.
Cesar Ramos: Likely back in AAA, lefties always valuable.
Adam Russell: Likely back in AAA. Webb is pitching better.
Ryan Webb: Legit chance to crack this bullpen, especially if a trade of Bell, Adams, or Gregerson occurs.
Chris Young: Could be offered a $1m base with innings pitched incentives.
Matt Antonelli: Second base will be a possible open spot. I would like to see him in AAA again until he can sustain health and productivity.
Aaron Cunningham: Deserves a shot platooning like he did in September.
Luis Durango: Headed for a trade or AAA. Could be a regular up and down just like 2010.

Prospects with an outside chance to crack the 25 man:

Aaron Poreda: Has to get his control together fast.
Simon Castro: Rotation is already log jammed. A full season at AAA won't hurt.

My 25 man roster expectation:

Bullpen(7 or 8)
Heath Bell
Mike Adams
Luke Gregerson
Ernesto Frieri
Joe Thatcher
Ryan Webb
Wade Leblanc
Edward Mujica

Starting Pitchers(5)
Mat Latos
John Garland
Clayton Richard
Tim Stauffer
Chris Young(if they can bring him back cheaply... Luebke would be first call up if Young injured)

Yorvit Torrealba
Nick Hundley

Adrian Gonzalez
Miguel Tejada
Jerry Hairston Jr

Chris Denorfia
Aaron Cunningham
Will Venable
Tony Gwynn Jr

DL rotation
Kyle Blanks
Cory Luebke
Cesar Ramos
Evereth Cabrera

As for the open spots: The Padres desperately need power. I see no need to go out and get pitching, the Padres have plenty in house.
Open1: Padres should go after a 2B like Orlando Hudson
Open2: Move some extra pitching, Chase, and prospects for Miguel Cabrera or Aramis Ramirez
Open3: Talk to Magglio Ordonez, if he wants too much then bring back Ludwick

These moves would add some serious payroll. The Padres would be looking at a $60-$65 mil payroll but a serious title contender with an improved lineup that could look like:

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